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Browsing News Entries

Browsing News Entries

Attack causes of migration, not those forced to flee, pope says on Lesbos

MYTILENE, Greece (CNS) — Standing in a tent on the shore, Pope Francis said the...

God’s power is revealed in love, pope says at Mass in Athens

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New Orleans billboard campaign reminds all to ‘Keep Christ in Christmas’

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U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman Expresses Concern Over Reimplementation of Migrant Protection Protocols

WASHINGTON - On December 2, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as “Remain in Mexico,” would restart the week of December 6. This announcement follows an agreement reached between the United States and Mexico to reimplement the program with certain modifications. In October, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issued a memorandum to terminate MPP, following a federal district court ruling vacating his earlier termination of the program. The federal government’s appeal of that ruling is pending. In the meantime, DHS is complying with the court’s order to reinstate MPP. Its revival comes as the Biden Administration continues to use Title 42 of the U.S. Code to expel asylum seekers and other vulnerable migrants, bypassing normal immigration proceedings and skirting due process protections.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has opposed MPP since it was first introduced in 2019. Reaffirming that position, Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, issued the following statement:

“We are deeply dismayed by the reimplementation of MPP. Unfortunately, attempts by the Administration to make this program ‘more humane’—however well intentioned—will not cure its inherent faults, nor will they alleviate its inevitable toll on human lives. We are especially concerned that this will perpetuate the existing tragedy of family separation, since many mothers and fathers are likely to feel compelled to part ways with their children in a desperate attempt to ensure their safety.

“On the First Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis prayed for migrants and renewed his appeal for leaders to find solutions that respect their humanity. In solidarity with the Holy Father, we strongly urge the Administration to take all necessary action to end MPP and replace it with an approach that respects human dignity, exemplifies our national values, upholds the rule of law, and embraces Christ’s call to welcome the newcomer.”

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Media Contacts: 
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte 
202-541-3200

West Side Story

NEW YORK (CNS) — What do you get when you combine composer Leonard Bernstein, lyricist...

National Collections Chairman Expresses Gratitude for Generosity of the Faithful

WASHINGTON – In the midst of Advent as the Catholic Church prepares for the birth of our Lord at Christmas, the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on National Collections expressed his gratitude for the generosity of the Catholic faithful who, even throughout pandemic hardships, have given generously to the national collections that strengthen faith communities and help those in need.

“Catholics who have given to these national collections, even perhaps when they were themselves in need, have shown our world the loving face of Jesus,” said Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup, chairman of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. “To the faithful who have prayerfully supported the good work of the Church by giving to these national collections, I wish to extend on behalf of the U.S. bishops my heartfelt gratitude. Your gifts are transforming the lives of struggling communities and hurting people through practical assistance to the poor and by helping to spread the gospel of Jesus in places where the Church is new, small, or challenged.”

Through eight annual special collections administered by the USCCB, Catholics supported the Church’s works of evangelization, catechesis, social justice, and community development locally, nationally, and globally:

  • Churches and other houses of worship have long been the first and most important welcoming communities when new refugees arrive in the United States. The Catholic Relief Services Collection helps strengthen the bonds of all religious communities with refugees and with each other.
  • With support from the Catholic Communication Campaign, CAPP-USA produced ten videos and six infographics explaining the core concepts of Catholic Social Teaching and how they apply to current social issues.
  • In Tennessee, Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment works to keep poisons out of streams and wells and helps mining communities transition to sustainable energy with support from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
  • A priest in Gallup, NM, whose parish is so remote that families often cannot gather weekly for religious education, received support from the Catholic Home Missions Appeal to run a three-week faith formation camp. It is bringing young people to Jesus – and inspiring them to bring their parents back to the Church.
  • Refugees from a civil war in Cameroon received guidance, supported by the Solidarity Fund for the Church in Africa, to help them heal from emotional and spiritual trauma.
  • Homeless people in Croatia are turning their lives around with help from Depaul Croatia, which received support from the Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Lay leaders in Brazil received nine months of spiritual formation for evangelization training with support from the Collection for the Church in Latin America. They learned how to share the Gospel and lovingly address difficult issues, including sexuality and abuse.
  • Thanks to the generosity of Catholics across the United States to the Bishops Emergency Disaster Fund, Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services received essential support for their humanitarian and long-term recovery work and dioceses devastated by hurricanes and other disasters received funding for essential pastoral and reconstruction efforts.

Most of the national collections are taken up once a year by dioceses in their parishes. New in 2021, the online giving platform #iGiveCatholicTogether provided additional opportunities for giving, allowing more people to make an impact through these USCCB programs.

“Even a modest donation to a national collection makes a multi-million-dollar impact as individual gifts are joined with those of Catholics in other parishes across the country,” Bishop Wall said. “By providing an additional platform for support, #iGiveCatholicTogether is helping Catholics to follow Jesus’ command to aid the ‘least of these’ among our brothers and sisters.”

Learn more at: www.usccb.org/committees/national-collections.

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Media Contacts: 
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte 
202-541-3200

Nationwide Collection Supports Retirement Needs of U.S. Religious Orders

WASHINGTON - The annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection will be held in most U.S. Catholic parishes December 11-12. Coordinated by the National Religious Retirement Office (NRRO) at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), this fund-raising appeal helps hundreds of religious communities care for aging members.

The U.S. bishops initiated the collection in 1988 to address the significant lack of retirement funding among U.S. religious orders. “I am deeply grateful to Catholics across the nation who faithfully support the Retirement Fund for Religious,” said NRRO executive director Sister Stephanie Still, a member of the Sisters of the Presentation of San Francisco. “Their generosity allows our office to provide vital financial assistance to hundreds of religious communities each year.”

Distinct from collections that dioceses hold for their retired diocesan priests, this nationwide effort benefits U.S. religious orders. Known collectively as “women and men religious,” most senior Catholic sisters, brothers and religious-order priests served for low wages in such ministries as Catholic schools, parishes and social services. Today, hundreds of religious orders face a critical shortage in retirement savings.

At the same time, the income of religious engaged in compensated ministry cannot keep pace with the growing cost of eldercare. According to NRRO data, retired religious outnumber younger, wage-earning members by roughly three to one, and the total cost of care for senior women and men religious exceeds $1 billion annually.

Since the collection was launched, U.S. Catholics have donated a total of $919 million. The 2020 appeal raised $20.7 million, and financial assistance was disbursed to 321 eligible religious communities across the nation. Communities combine this funding with their own income and savings to help meet eldercare costs. Collection proceeds also underwrite educational and consultative initiatives that help communities improve care delivery and plan for long-term retirement expenses.

“Our mission is to help religious communities provide for the ongoing needs of their senior members,” said Sister Still. “We remain grateful for all those who support these efforts.”

Visit retiredreligious.org to learn more.

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Media Contacts: 
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte 
202-541-3200 

U.S. Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman on Supreme Court’s Dobbs Case

WASHINGTON - Today, the Supreme Court of the United States is scheduled to hear oral arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, on the Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks. The question before the Court is whether all pre-viability bans on elective abortions are unconstitutional. Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued the following statement:

"In the United States, abortion takes the lives of over 600,000 babies every year. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health could change that. We pray that the Court will do the right thing and allow states to once again limit or prohibit abortion, and in doing so protect millions of unborn children and their mothers from this painful, life-destroying act. We invite all people of good will to uphold the dignity of human life by joining us in prayer and fasting for this important case.”  

Catholic and ecumenical prayers and resources for community engagement and action as we await the Court’s decision in this case may be found at www.prayfordobbs.com. All are encouraged to participate.

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Media Contacts: 
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte 
202-541-3200 

 

 

Faith Groups Say the Build Back Better Act Would Exclude Faith-Based Child Care and Pre-Kindergarten Providers

WASHINGTON – Two bishop chairmen on behalf of their committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have cosigned a coalition letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ranking Member Richard Burr (R-NC) with other faith groups raising urgent concerns that the Build Back Better Act’s (BBBA) child care and universal pre-kindergarten programs would exclude faith-based providers.

“Expanding affordable child care and pre-kindergarten is a worthy goal to help working families. However, the current child care and universal pre-kindergarten (UPK) provisions in the Build Back Better Act will suppress, if not exclude, the participation of many faith-based providers,” wrote Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop Thomas Daly of Spokane, chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education, together with numerous organizations representing denominations, schools, and charities.

The letter explains that although the BBBA does not preclude parents from selecting faith-based providers, the bill’s current provisions make it virtually impossible for many faith based providers to participate in the program by departing from current federal child care policy and attaching new compliance obligations that would interfere with providers’ protected rights under Title VII and Title IX regarding curricula or teaching, sex-specific programs (such as separate boys or girls schools or classes), and preferences for employing individuals who share the providers’ religious beliefs.  

“The faith community has always affirmed that parents should choose the best environment for care and education of their children. The current Build Back Better Act provisions would severely limit the options for parents, suffocate the mixed delivery system for child care and pre-kindergarten, and greatly restrict the number of providers available for a successful national program.” 

The coalition asks for urgent attention to address these concerns in order to ensure that faith-based providers are able to participate in the BBBA’s child care and UPK programs.

A full list of signatories can be seen in the letter to Senators Murray and Burr, which is available athttps://www.usccb.org/resources/FINAL%20Coalition%20letter%2012-1-21%20(1).pdf.

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Media Contacts: 
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte 
202-541-3200 

House of Gucci

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